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Leonard Freed: The March on Washington

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August 28, 1963, marked a great day for democracy in America. On that day nearly fifty years ago, more than 250,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to mount a peaceful protest demanding equal rights and economic equality for African Americans. Led by a contingent of civil rights organizations, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom called for the desegregation of public schools, protection of the right to vote, and a federal program to train and place unemployed workers. This historic demonstration ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and soon became the iconic expression of social protest that inspired the women's rights movement, as well as movements for the disabled and other disenfranchised groups, and serves to this day as a blueprint for democratic action.

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